Kale and White Bean Soup with Foccacia,

Tonight we had soup and bread for dinner. I made the Kale and White Bean Soup that I made for our Christmas dinner, but I made a couple alterations to it for a heartier meal versus a starter soup. Yum! Did I mention this soup is really easy, too? Logan had a fun time helping me roll the focaccia dough out into the pans. I love it when he can get hands on in the kitchen with me. Fun times!

Kale and White Bean Soup

  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 head kale, chopped
  • 8 c chicken broth
  • 2 – 15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 lb. Italian Sausage links
  • 1 – 2 ounce piece Parmesan
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • salt, to taste
  • 6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • grated Parmesan for garnish

Brown sausage links in a soup pot until cooked through. Slice into rounds and set aside. In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy large pot over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the kale and saute until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, beans, sausage, and Parmesan cheese. Cover and simmer about 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Ladle the soup into 6 bowls. Drizzle 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil over each and top with fresh Parmesan cheese.

Rosemary Focaccia Bread

  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 2 c warm water
  • 6 c flour, divided
  • 1/2 c soft butter
  • 1/2 c chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 8 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Combine yeast and water; let stand 5 minutes. Place 4 c flour in a large bowl; make a well in the center. Add yeast mixture; stir until a soft dough forms. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

Sprinkle remaining 2 c flour onto a flat surface. Turn dough out onto floured surface, and knead until flour flour is incorporated into dough. Combine rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Gradually knead butter and rosemary mixture into dough. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.

Brush two 15×10 inch jelly roll pans with 2 T oil. Divide dough in half. Roll each portion into a rectangle, and place in pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 40 minutes.

Using fingertips dimple the dough all over in both pans. Drizzle with remaining 6 T olive oil. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until golden. Cut or tear into squares.

**I didn’t have time tonight for all the different kneading steps, so I used my bread machine on the dough cycle. I put the ingredients in the container in the order recommended by my machine: water first, then salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary, and butter, next the flour, and last the yeast. After the dough cycle was over I began again with the recipe where you brush the pans with oil. Also, this isn’t in the recipe, but I sprinkled a mix of Parmesan, Asiago, and Romano cheese on top before baking.